As we enter the crucial months of the season, there is still plenty to be excited about in the Betfred Super League.
Whether it be Castleford, Warrington and Wigan fighting for a spot in the end-of-season play-offs or Leeds, Hull KR Salford and Widnes fighting tough Championship competition to preserve their top flight status, so much is still undecided.
Over the next few days, we will be examining the season so far for all 12 Super League clubs, as they head into the ‘Super 8s split’. Next up is Hull Kingston Rovers.
Position after 23 rounds: 10th
Record this year: W8 D1 L14 Pts17
Points: F476 A582 PD-106
Season in Summary
Without a doubt the Red Robins’ return to the top flight has been a bumpy ride.
At times their performances were rewarded with two points but for much of the season wins were few and far between, as Tim Sheens struggled with an injury-hit squad.
A 24-24 draw to Castleford spurred Rovers on to earning four wins in their last five games, but that run came too late to avoid yet another Qualifiers campaign.
Best Result – Hull FC (A)
Rovers arguably saved the best game for last as they battled their local rivals Hull FC with nothing but bragging rights to play for.
They had three players making their debuts, having hardly had a training session between them, but Todd Carney, Ben Crooks, Craig Hall all played an important part in a 20-16 derby victory.
Hall and Danny Tickle got all the points while a huge defensive effort was needed to help them hang on to break a run of seven consecutive defeats to the Black and Whites.
Full-back Adam Quinlan is a noted speedster with good support play and the ability to link into the line. He can also feature in the halves and brings a creative element as well as a running threat to the full back position, and has scored ten tries and assisted 12 this season.
At 24 years old, half-back Chris Atkin is a playmaker of real potential as well as an excellent goal-kicker. The young man is not afraid to get stuck in either, having ran over a kilometre in carries – averaging just under six metres a carry.
Props Robbie Mulhern and Mose Masoe have both proven to be real powerhouses this season, adding noticeable size and punch to the Robins’ pack. Together they have made nearly 1,000 tackles and have busted the opposition’s defence 66 times.
Things to work on
The Robins lack intensity at times when they are defending and this has often resulted in one too many tries being conceded, which has been crucial in tight games.
What to expect going into the 8s
Hull Kingston Rovers have been given a tough set of away fixtures with trips to Canada and France to face Toronto and Toulouse respectively, as well as a trip down the M62 to face Leeds.
On the flip side the four home fixtures all look winnable, with Salford, Widnes, London and Halifax heading to KCOM Craven Park.
Overall, the Robins will be facing tough opposition, but with the quality they possess and the form they are in, they should stay in the top flight for another year.